The continuous demand for improved energy efficiency and reduced pollution has led the car manufacturers to focus on electric propulsion. Due to this, research activities concerning electric and hybrid vehicles have been increasing all over the world. For hybrid vehicle research and development, various modeling and simulation tools have been created as the prerequisites for computational research and development have been developed. This paper explores existing research from the past and presents recent developments in order to predict future trends in powertrain simulation tools. The results of the study indicate that developments in simulation tools have evolved from dedicated modeling and simulation tools for hybrid electric vehicles toward general multi-system simulation tools with increasingly detailed component models and accurate physics. The study results identified that progress in computing technology is steady, the development trend in computational R&D is moving toward large computational studies, and the application of advanced data analytics plays a strong role in hybrid powertrain R&D.